Monday, August 22, 2005

Long Lost Evil Twin Contest

One of the comments on the discussion of convergent etymologies at Tenser, said the Tensor (see below) got me thinking. The comment, by Q. Pheevr, ended as follows: "Of course, if you took away the "same spelling" requirement, the possibilities would expand tremendously—we'd let in shirt/skirt and otter/hydro/vodka/undulate/whisk(e)y and all sorts of others...."

So here's the contest: Who can post the most interesting, ironic set of related words? What I'm looking for is a set of words that are ultimately related etymologically, but which have come down through different paths to become quite opposite (or at least seeming unrelated) in meaning. So, the shirt/skirt group wouldn't count--they're the same category of thing--but the idea that otters are related to whiskey and vodka is pretty interesting.

Rules of the contest: Post the most interesting or ironic set of words you know or can find, and we will all enjoy them. I will decide who I think are the winners, tell no one, and award them nothing. (Oh come now, if you're going to post in such a contest, you probably think studying words is its own reward anyway, nicht wahr?)

To get you started: Also related are these two previous posts.


silmarillion said...

decline, incline, recline, clitellum, acclivity, declivity, proclivity,clitoris, lid, lean, client, –clinal, cline, –cline, –clinic, clino-, clisis; aclinic line, anaclisis, clinandrium, enclitic, matriclinous, patroclinous, pericline, proclitic, climate,diclinous, monoclinous, triclinium, ladder.

Derek the Ænglican said...

Oops, the comment on the previous *probably* should have gone here--but it still can't beat ladder/clitoris...